Gunfire Breaks Out on Texas Southern University Campus Injuring 8

Gunfire breaks out on the Texas Southern University campus.

ByABC News
July 23, 2009, 12:44 AM

July 23, 2009 -- Eight people were shot on the Texas Southern University campus Wednesday night, according to Houston Police spokesman Kese Smith. The victims ranged in age from 14 to 21: one of them was a male TSU student.

"Late this afternoon investigators were still interviewing witnesses and victims," Smith told ABC News. "Last night there was some talk about it being gang-related. After our investigator met with the TSU police department the motive for the shooting is not known."

The violence broke out in a parking lot at the end of the second annual Trae Day, a day-long outdoor family event to celebrate Houston area rapper Trae tha Truth. The rapper distributed school supplies and spoke to the crowd about the importance of HIV testing, but left before the shooting, his publicist told the Houston Chronicle.

Houston police confirmed to ABC News affiliate KTRK that the victims were shot at three different locations all within a one-block range.

Witnesses say the gunfire caused a stampede of people running for safety. Video of the scene posted to YouTube depicts a large crowd gathered in a parking lot. The camera jerks and swerves to show people screaming and fleeing as the sound of gun shots pop in the background.

"Chop," the18-year-old from Houston who shot the video and posted it online, told ABC News that he wished to remain anonymous out of fear for his own safety.

He said he showed up as the Trae Day event was wrapping up. He saw a group of people approach another group, then shots were fired. "We didn't see any faces," he said.

"Basically me and friends were talking and we saw bottles flying and we saw a big hoard of people. Gunshots rang out and everyone just moved and we ran," he said.

When the gunshots erupted Chop and some others scaled a tall gate to escape.

Then, he said, about 10 minutes later there was a drive-by shooting.

One woman in the crowd did her best to help a stranger in need.

"I took off running with flip-flops on," T'Angela DeBoest told KTRK. "There was a pregnant lady and I tried to help her. I escorted her to someone's property where she would be safe."

The victims were taken to Ben Taub General Hospital and Memorial Hermann Hospital where they were treated for non-threatening injuries.

The community event was hosted by Houston City Council member Peter Brown, who is also running for mayor. U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee attended the event before the shooting occurred.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of tonight's tragedy," Brown posted Wednesday night on Twitter.

Texas Southern is one of the largest historically black universities with approximately 10,000 students.

ABC News' Kirby Kristen contributed to this report.